Friday, June 06, 2014

With A Pinch Of Salt - Review

There are some people who can never come straight to a point. If you ask them a simple question like what is the time? They would probably reply, Time! This is the most horrible time of my life. My father is not sending me more money, I cant understand any damn thing in the lectures, no girl ever seems to be interested in me and the hostel food is pathetic. It is the worst time of my life.
In short, this book is like a handbook of everyday humor. It is based on observation of funny tendencies in people and then creating fictional caricatures and anecdotes around them.
The tendency of beating around the mulberry bush has been converted into a fictional character called Simon Satellite. And yes, there are many more such characters and anecdotes, served With a Pinch of Salt.

About the Author
Jas Anand (or Jasjit Singh Anand for technical accuracy) is a Mechanical Engineer & PGDBA and has been wearing a tie in the corporate sector for more than 15 years. He likes to live, laugh and let go. He is an avid traveler, voracious reader, part time writer and a full time propagator of positive thinking.
Jas is a family man living with his wife and two little boys who keep him blissfully on his toes. He has recently moved to Manila and is currently partying at Greenbelt, Makati.

‘With A Pinch of Salt’ is adorned with a cover that’s bright and colorful, urging you to go for it, and at the same time heightening your expectations with promises of a good humorous read. The cover is attractive, with the right mixture of hues, and a cartooned character peering through a magnifying glass. This introduces the basic premise of the book, which is based upon the observation of people and the funny characteristics exhibited by them. Sounds interesting!

Jas Anand, the author, creates several fictional characters with names like Larry Love, Simon Satellite and Jargon Smith. The names are creatively chosen so that you can easily guess the traits they exhibit. There are chapters and sub-sections that narrate their antics, with the author clearly expressing his views on them, suggesting the readers what to do if they ever come across such people. Keeping these factors in mind, the book does a decent job of coming up with people and their unusual behaviors, shaping them in the form of anecdotes, and highlighting the features.

A few chapters have been written very well, and you exclaim, “Yes, I know this character.” There are events you can relate to, such as incidents happening around your workplace, or in your locality. In that respect, the book does have a tinge of realism associated with it, drawing you in its world. Often, we come across unique people and personalities, and the experiences we share with them amuse us to such an extent that they never leave our memories. The author’s accounts denotes his close observational skills, and his wide experience of meeting people.

However, the book somewhat lacks the humor quotient, the genre to which it belongs. There are hardly any laugh out loud moments, and even if you consider giggles and smiles, they are rare. A few chapters have been executed pretty well, but overall, the tone tends to be monotonous, dragging in parts. For example, the chapters related to love could have been edited better, as I felt that they were deviating from the main theme of the book. Humor should be tight and crisp, and this book fails to live up to that tag.

I felt that a few characteristics were a bit exaggerated. The author describes the people and their traits in extremities, which sometimes appear impractical. True, we all exhibit unique characteristics, but normally these behaviors balance out among themselves. For a sensible person, such extreme behavioral traits appear out of place.

Being a lover of humor, I had high expectations from this book when I first heard about it. Sadly, the book failed to fulfill all of them. Having said that, humor or comedy isn't an easy genre, and it’s difficult to make people laugh in these stressful times. The author’s efforts are commendable, considering he picked up a refreshing plot and not run – of – the – mills stuff for his debut. I would surely pick up his next book, as I know he would again bring up something new that we haven’t read before.

Title: With a Pinch of Salt
Authors: Jas Anand
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Publication Year: 2014
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Fiction, Humor
No. of Pages: 188
Price: Rs 100
My Rating: 3/5


  1. A pinch of salt... I want to know what that salt denotes to. And your review itself conveyed me not to go for this book at all.

  2. Lovely review! This is Chirasree, your latest follower :)

  3. A very honest review. I like the way you write the review in so much detail. :)

  4. You are an awesome er viewer every time. You should do this for a living Amrit!

  5. nice...i like that your reviews are honest and you call it how it falls short of its own genre which is not a good thing....

    1. Thanks Brian ... However, this is just my personal opinion ... you might like it :-)

  6. I seldom come straight to the point ... just because people in my life that do, they just do ... and I can do with that ...

  7. "Live Your Life" has been included in the A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.